Understanding Astrology: Make your year amazing with this guide to the planets

By Briar | Uncategorized

Greetings astrology enthusiasts! 2019 is upon us!

I’m issuing my usual disclaimers that I don’t quite get how astrology works (I don’t know that anyone really does), and while I have done a fair amount of research, I don’t buy into all of astrology’s…theories. What that means is that I find some of it relevant, and some of it straight up bullshit. (Stay tuned, because I’m going to be talking about the North Node later, and this falls firmly in the latter category.)

I’ve linked specific resources below, but I got a LOT of my material from better astrologers than me. Naomi Dunford’s 2019 Business Astrology Guide, Your Personal Astrologer 2019 by Joseph Polansky, and Cafe Astrology’s Astrological Calendars, specifically.

The planets in motion.

So let’s start with the good news–2019 looks to be a much better year.

It kicks off the night before, on New Year’s Eve, when Mars enters Aries. Remember how you wanted to take a nap all summer? That’s because Mars was retrograde. Not only do we not have to deal with that this year (for Mars or Venus), but we get to start with some action for once. Aries is a decider. It may take a while, but once the decision is made, there’s no going back. Don’t waste any of your time on indecision this year.

astrology dice with aries showing

That means that you should already have a plan by January 1st. Stay home on New Year’s Eve. Go to bed early. Then wake up and kick 2019’s ass. This is a good year for strategic goal setting and implementation. Do the dreaming and planning now, because the first quarter should be all action.

Jupiter is currently transiting Sagittarius, which means an adventure. Jupiter rules Sagittarius, which makes this a kind of “home base” sort of state, I guess. Any time a planet spends in the sign it rules kind of magnifies the effects of that planet.

On January 6th, Uranus turns direct in Aries, which is great. I don’t know why, but it’s great. (Retrogrades of the outer planets are not something I worry about a whole lot. Their relative distance from Earth means that they can spend half the year or more in Retrograde. I don’t find these transits to be personally significant.) Enjoy the next few months of peace from this planet, until Uranus re-enters Taurus in March. My understanding is that this is going to be a rough transition, but on a global scale, not an individual one.

The rest of the solar system.

Saturn is in Capricorn, here and here. This is good because Saturn governs Capricorn, but Capricorn is also a pretty stable sign. It’s pretty much the definition of “slow and steady win the race,” and I have to admit, after the last couple of years, I will take some of that energy in my life.

Pluto is also in Capricorn, and you can tell someone’s into astrology (or from New Mexico) by how quick they are to defend Pluto’s existence as a planet. It’s…it’s far away, man. (On a pseudo-scientific level, I am skeptical about a planet so far away having any real impact. I suspect Jupiter’s and Saturn’s moons are of greater significance.) So I tend to care more about the inner planets, and the bigger planets. Sorry, Pluto.

But since I’m giving you the full update, Neptune is in Pisces right now, which also means stuff.

Now, back to the planets we care about! On January 7th, Venus enters Sagittarius, and everyone’s long-term relationships breathe a sigh of relief. At the very least, you’ll be less likely to kill each other. Remember what I said earlier about Sagittarius being adventurous? Wear condoms, is all I’m saying.

The Moon, Eclipses, and Retrogrades.

If you are the kind of person who sets monthly intentions, then the New Moon on January 5th is the perfect beginning. The moon is in Capricorn, which will appear a lot this year.

A total lunar eclipse on the 21st of January will be visible in North and South America, as well as some parts of Europe. It’s a supermoon too, so if you can catch it, you should. And the moon in Leo means…I don’t know. That you should bask in your awesomeness that day, maybe.

lunar eclipse

There are a few other eclipses this year, a total solar eclipse on July 2nd visible in parts of South America. A partial solar eclipse on January 6th. And a partial lunar eclipse July 17th. These eclipses are on the Cancer/Capricorn axis, which is apparently significant because…we’re cleaning houses?

Mercury retrogrades this year are March 5-28, July 7-31, and October 31-November 20. Get those on your calendar. Obey standard Mercury retrograde protocol at these times. Don’t buy a car. Don’t sign a contract. Think before you speak, ESPECIALLY online.

Thus ends your tour of the solar system for the first part of the year. Next up: we go for a swim in some questionable waters.

When astrology gets…mystical.

Astrology has a lot of math in it. Specifically, geometry. These days it’s all done by computer programs, which is why it’s become a thing again. No one has to crank out the charts and tables by hand. That is an ungodly amount of work, lemme tell you.

So, when planets are in certain alignments with each other, this is a BIG DEAL. This one is a little…out there, but give it a minute. Here’s how it works (in theory). Each planet has an energetic influence. So when those energetic influences come into contact with each other, they create a new energetic alignment. Which doesn’t seem totally crazypants. Get some magnetic balls, play with them on a table. How they interact with each other is how the planets interact, on a much larger scale. Sometimes they attract, sometimes they repel.

astrology charts

Astrology believes that those planetary magnetic fields have a similar effect. On us, but also on our planet. These alignments happen often, because the planets are moving, but there are a couple of big ones this year.

It’s like fortune telling. But with planets.

First, Jupiter will square Neptune, which I’m told brings truth, resonance, and authenticity. And possibly the downfall of famous and corrupt people, so watch for that. This lasts from January to September.

Then Saturn will sextile Neptune, bringing material gain from your highest and loftiest pursuits. I mean, that sounds pretty sweet. This runs from February to November.

There are specific days when the actual intersections happen, and if you like fortune-telling, then this is something you should explore further–astrology has a ton of it. For the rest of us, it’s enough to say that in order for these specific planetary hookups to happen, they have to stay within the same relative range for a while.

And finally, we reach astrology’s sub-basement. The floor is slick down here, so tread carefully!

Believe it or not. I don’t even care.

This year, we have a North Node in Cancer. This is significant because….okay. Check this shit out, guys. The lunar nodes are a period of approximately 18 months. They’re not actual planets, they’re mathematically derived points on the natal chart. It has something to do with where the moon is in your chart, but I don’t see how or when or why.

This means that you’re reincarnated in groups of people who are here to learn the same lessons as you. That’s your node. And so a node in Cancer means that you’ll grow claws and do the Zoidberg or some shit, I don’t know, because when we get to this kind of religious quackery, I throw my hands up in disgust, and announce, “and this is why people think astrology is crazy.”

But, like all magical or metaphysical systems, I firmly believe in taking what works for me, and then ignoring the rest.

Now, on to the practical application!!!

This year should be one of action and adventure. You should put your mind toward developing those areas of your life. Then focus on making things happen and creating amazing experiences.

Move your work life forward. Maybe there’s a professional conference you want to attend this year. Maybe it’s time to attend some networking events. Maybe it’s time to get a new job.

Travel. See new things, even if they’re close to home. Schedule a trip to a local museum or gallery or tourist trap, and learn about the place you live. Try new restaurants, find tiny little bakeries, explore and engage.

sitting under a full moon

Meet new people. Make new friends. Expand your real-life network. Making friends as an adult is hard. Be deliberate about this commitment, or you’ll decide not to do it.

Spend significantly less time on social media. Monitor it, make rules about how you use it, turn off notifications. It’s about taking control of your time.

How to make it work for you.

Be mindful of what you’re consuming this year. Uranus in Taurus means that we’re spending time examining our resources and how we use them. Going vegan isn’t practical for everyone, but less meat consumption overall is always better for the planet. Buy used or sustainable products. Have as many No Spend days as is feasible.

Finally, it looks to be a better year for your relationships overall. Plan FUN into your life. Dates with your partner. Field trips for your kids. Board game nights. Like everything else on this list, be deliberate about getting it on the calendar.

I make note of this kind of stuff when I’m doing my monthly review, and then slot it in where there’s time. The key to making this stuff happen is to make it realistic. So, plan one field trip. One food excursion. One date. One networking event. One movie night. Keep your list to four or five things–that’s one a week.

Then when it’s time to actually do the thing, you won’t bail on yourself. Don’t look at this stuff as “have tos,” look at it as “want tos.” Events to be planned, anticipated, and savored. Research indicates that more than half of our enjoyment of something is in the anticipation. So get good at creating that for yourself. Find things, large and small, to look forward to.

Make 2019 something to look forward to.

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